Question reference: S5W-29236
- Asked by: Shona Robison, MSP for Dundee City East, Scottish National Party
- Date lodged: 20 May 2020
Current status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Humza Yousaf on 21 May 2020
To ask the Scottish Government when the terms of reference will be finalised for the public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Sheku Bayoh.
Following my update to Parliament on 23 January 2020 to confirm that I had appointed The Right Hon Lord Bracadale to chair the Sheku Bayoh Public Inquiry, I met with the family of Mr Bayoh and a range of key parties to discuss the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry and how we can build diversity into its structures.
In these discussions I outlined my intention to keep the Terms of Reference focused on the specific incident of Mr Bayoh’s death but sufficiently broad to allow Lord Bracadale to look at wider issues he considers to be pertinent to the Inquiry. This approach was broadly supported.
I can confirm that I will not be appointing any additional members to the Inquiry Panel although work is underway to identify potential Assessors who will bring diversity of perspectives and experience in supporting the Chair.
The Terms of Reference agreed with Lord Bracadale are as follows:
Public Inquiry into the Death of Sheku Bayoh – Terms of Reference
The aim of this Inquiry is twofold: firstly, the Inquiry will establish the circumstances surrounding the death of Sheku Bayoh in police custody on 3 May 2015 and make recommendations to prevent deaths in similar circumstances, as would have been required under the Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Act 2016. Secondly, the Inquiry will assess and establish aspects of the case that could not be captured, or fully captured through the FAI process, namely (a) the post incident management process and subsequent investigation and make any recommendations for the future in relation to these; and (b) the extent (if any) to which the events leading up to and following Mr Bayoh’s death, in particular the actions of the officers involved, were affected by his actual or perceived race and to make recommendations to address any findings in that regard. The remit of the Inquiry is accordingly:
- to establish the circumstances of the death of Sheku Bayoh, including the cause or causes of the death, any precautions which could reasonably have been taken and, had they been taken might realistically have resulted in the death being avoided, any defects in any operating models, procedures and training or other system of working which contributed to the death and any other factors which are relevant to the circumstances of the death;
- to make recommendations, if any, covering the taking of reasonable precautions, improvements to or introduction of any operating models, procedures and training, or other system of working, and the taking of any other steps which might realistically prevent other deaths in similar circumstances;
- to examine the post-incident management process and the investigation up to, but not including, the making by the Lord Advocate of the prosecutorial decision communicated to the family of Sheku Bayoh on 3 October 2018 (and the Victims’ Right to Review process that was undertaken by the Crown Counsel in 2019), including: (i) the effectiveness of procedures for gathering and analysing information, (ii) the securing and preserving of evidence, (iii) the roles and responsibilities of those involved, (iv) liaison with the family of the deceased and (v) compliance with any relevant Convention rights; and make recommendations, if any, for the future in respect of these matters;
- to establish the extent (if any) to which the events leading up to and following Mr Bayoh’s death, in particular the actions of the officers involved, were affected by his actual or perceived race and to make recommendations to address any findings in that regard; and
- to report to the Scottish Ministers on the above matters and to make recommendations, as soon as reasonably practicable.